Qatar postpones launch of new 2022 World Cup venue

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool will play on 18 December - Qatar's national day - against one of three possible opponents: North American champion Monterrey, Qatari club Al Sadd or Oceania champion Hienghene Sport of New Caledonia.

Klopp has confirmed there are four young players who will be present for both games, as he plans to play them against Villa and then fly them to the Middle East to watch Liverpool's Club World Cup semi-final.

Although the location is operational, the official opening of the Education City Stadium has now been reduced to 2020 due to delays in the certification process.

Liverpool said club officials would visit Qatar in the coming days to inspect Khalifa International Stadium, "as per our protocols".

However, the Mirror are reporting that the opening of the stadium has been delayed until early 2020 and, as a result, the Reds' clash, along with the final, have now been moved to the Khalifa Stadium.

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Jurgen Klopp's team, which enters the tournament in the semifinals stage, planned to play two games at the newly built Education City Stadium, just outside Doha.

The priority is to ensure an enjoyable experience for all fans so it was chose to open the stadium at a later date.

The multi-purpose stadium, which is at the moment getting used for the continued Arabian Gulf Cup may even host the ultimate and the third-place play-off on December 21.

The 45,000-seater stadium was due to host the final, one semi-final, and the third-place playoff. The date and time of those matches will remain as previously indicated.

While the late change of venue should not lead to significant upheaval for Liverpool's squad and supporters - the grounds are only 10km apart on the outskirts of Doha - the news comes as a blow to Qatar's preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

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